How To Teach Kids Positive Self Talk(+3 Tips)

This article will explore a number of ways that parents engage in or use to help teach their children how to carry out positive self talk. The article will also introduce the readers to what positive self talk is and why it is so important.

How To Teach Kids Positive Self Talk?

Here are a few ways you can teach kids to engage in positive self talk:

  • Modeling Positive Self Talk
  • Making Lists With Kids
  • Real Life Situations
  • Tricks To Trigger Positive Self Talk
  • Discuss The Benefits Of Positive Self Talk
  • Games – How To Change Something Into Something Positive
  • Encourage Kids To Help Others

Before we look at each of these ways to help kids engage more frequently in positive self talk, we will look at exactly what this self talk means!

What Is Positive Self Talk – A Coping Mechanism

This type of activity that people engage in – positive self talk – is actually a coping mechanism that is used in the face of danger or when a person experiences stress. It involves a person repeating statements or talking to themself in a positive manner that reminds them to see the positive side in situations or circumstances that may seem grim or even scary! 

Positive self talk has been used to increase one’s self esteem, confidence and ability to get through difficult situations. It is because a person pushes themself to see things in a more positive light and hence be more prone to see any opportunities or ‘ways out’ from a bad situation! This is especially useful in kids when they are still learning and exploring and hence coming across new situations.

Furthermore, positive self talk is often used in tasks that require concentration! So whether it is trying to look for something you lost in a huge pile of toys or figure out the math problem your teacher asked you to solve on the board, repeating positive statements can actually help you calm down and focus on what is at hand rather than how you feel.

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7 Ways How To Teach Kids Positive Self Talk!

In this section we will look at 7 ways on how to encourage the habit of positive self talk in kids so that they can face difficult situations in a more effective manner and complete tasks that require them to be confident and well prepared mentally and emotionally!

Modeling Positive Self Talk

The best way to teach kids something is by actually doing it and not telling them. Modelling positive self talk is an easy and effective way to teach kids how to act or behave in difficult or tough situations – that is if you have a habit of doing it yourself! Many scientific researches have shown how quickly children learn when they watch adults engage in certain behaviours; it is like they are sponges waiting to absorb whatever it is they get exposed to.

Nonetheless, this is one of the best ways to teach kids positive self talk. Whether it’s your own kids, your students at school or your sister’s or best friend’s child, you can always teach them something new by doing it yourself.

Although there may not be too many situations everyday to actually teach children when they are around, you can try and make up situations – without them knowing – and hence help them learn in the ‘spur of the moment’! Maybe you were working outside in the garage and the light bulb popped all of a sudden! Instead of complaining you could say that this could be pointing to a bigger problem in the wiring. In another instance, you could be trying something for the first time and to help yourself concentrate you take a few deep breaths and tell yourself ‘you can do this’.

Making Lists With Kids

This is a great activity where you can sit down with children and make a few lists of phrases that reflect positive self talk in kids. This activity is best done in a group where you can have kids come up with different ideas or situations and hence new phrases that can be used during positive self talk. 

Once you have enough for a list, kids can be encouraged to put these up in their rooms and consider them as daily reminders they wake up to or see in their room whenever they go there. These lists can also be put up in school where children can take a look at them wherever they remember to or need to! Children take more interest in things when they have contributed to them in some way. Furthermore, you can teach children to refer to these lists or help others read from these lists when they face a tough task!

Real Life Situations

The best way to learn is a real life situation. Although we may not always come across one where we need to engage in self talk that is indeed positive, adults can think of scenarios to create where this type of behaviour would be needed.

At school, teachers can set up a day when they create tasks for kids to finish within a fixed time. This could be a fun activity but at the same time a stressful one especially if the child is short on time or is having issues with the task. So, in this manner, not only will the adults in this scenario create the ideal situation to practice but kids will get to know how it feels like when they are in a tough situation and their self confidence may be decreasing with every passing second.

In one example, children in a class can be asked to solve a simple puzzle. In the case that kids do not have any difficulty there is no need to encourage them to use self help statements. However, teachers can identify those kids who do need help and hence go to them separately. They can help them calm down and use self help statements all while guiding them in the process!

Tricks To Trigger Positive Self Talk

There are a number of ways to help your child remember when to use self help talk to keep them focused and calm in a difficult situation. If your child has the habit of drinking water when they feel stressed out you could write a small note on their water bottle that says something like ‘You Can Do This!’. Such small tips help a lot especially when your child does not have you around.

You can also teach your child to look for the thing in the room that calms them down and focus on it when they feel stressed out. While doing so they can repeat positive statements that are aimed to help them relax!

Discuss The Benefits Of Positive Self Talk

Children are smart and we often take that for granted! They like to know why something is done and whether or not it is truly helpful! When you teach your child positive self talk then be sure to make them understand why it is so important and beneficial. One thing you can highlight is how negative we become in a difficult situation and because of that we do not even remember the things we can do then!

Games – How To Change Something Into Something Positive

Games are the best way to teach young kids how to learn something. For the sake of practice and fun, adults can ask children to change negative situations or statements into positive ones! They can ask these kids how they did this and why. These are interesting games which not only kids but adults will enjoy too.

Encourage Kids To Help Others

Another great way to help your kids make this a sure practice they adopt is by making them the teachers! They have a number of friends who go through difficult situations as well and hence they are not the only ones who need those positive statements to keep them calm. Help your child notice the signs that someone like their friend is stressed out or needs a way to calm down, this is the time when they can help their friend say positive and calming things to regain their confidence!


This article looked at the various ways in which kids can be taught how to engage in positive self talk and why this is necessary. Furthermore, the article also introduced the readers to what positive self talk basically is, how it affects us and why it is so important in helping us remain confident in tough situations.

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Professional counselling

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How to Teach Positive Self-Talk

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